Luca Santarelli. Therachon

Fresh from a Pfiz­er buy­out, Lu­ca Santarel­li’s crew has cre­at­ed a new com­pa­ny — bank­ing new funds and steer­ing their lead drug to a piv­otal

Al­most ex­act­ly 3 years since he joined the biotech start­up world as head of Ther­a­chon, the high-pro­file dis­cov­ery sci­en­tist Lu­ca Santarel­li is ready to start 2020 with a new com­pa­ny, open­ing a new chap­ter with $35 mil­lion in fi­nanc­ing from some close ven­ture groups and plans that point straight to Phase III lat­er this year while they hunt new de­vel­op­ment deals.

We knew last spring that Santarel­li’s Basel-based biotech was be­ing bought out by Pfiz­er for up to $810 mil­lion. The phar­ma gi­ant want­ed their drug for dwarfism, pluck­ing it out but let­ting the 20-mem­ber team re­main in charge of a sep­a­rate rare dis­ease drug for short bow­el syn­drome.

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